Photo: Giovanni Vezzani
Together with the COOPI Foundation, COOPI Suisse decided to contribute to the already existing project “Education in Emergencies: access to education for the most vulnerable children in the district of Mosul, Iraq” allowing 1.200 children to resume their schooling despite being in an area of conflict.
This initiative aims to ensure the installation of container schools and the distribution of school supplies in the Qayyara sub-district, an area recently freed by the ISIS terrorist group. Schools will be provided with adequate sanitary facilities and all necessary school supplies will be distributed: desks, chairs, blackboards and anything else that will be necessary upon returning to a standard schooling system.
- Direct beneficiaries of the project: 3.750 children, 50 teachers
- Indirect beneficiaries of the project: Families of children, or 22.500 people
- Cost: The budget amounts to 61.215,00 USD, financed by a private donor
- Duartion: 1 June 2018 – 31 March 2019
Thoughts and images from Mosul
The grey of the debris in West Mosul is the sovereign color in the city which, at first sight, seems uninhabited. There are very few people apart from the soldiers at the check point, where they camp and listen to music.
I was moved by a little boy sitting on the curb of a sidewalk… he was staring into space and according to our guide, he was starving. For security reasons, I had to stay in the car.
Suddenly I saw an elderly man and a child with lost stares, wandering amid buildings in ruins: there is no more life in Mosul, at least this is what the torn down buildings seem to cry out. We followed the street up to the mosque al-Nouri, that, too, completely destroyed. It is here that Abu Al Baghdadi, on 29 June 2014, during the Friday prayer, announced the re-establishment of the Caliphate and proclaimed the Islamic State … today, the words “fuck ISIS” dominate part of the dome: the mosque has been violated for the second time.
But West Mosul is not dead… perhaps there is hope!
When we arrived in front of a school, a swarm of children was pressing at the entrance. The school, riddled on every side, looked like Gruyère cheese. We went in. In the back, a pallid sun was coming in from an enormous hole in the roof. On one side of the room destroyed desks, and on the other dust and debris. Along the corridor, the headmaster showed up, a man in his fifties, short but with such scenic presence to seem two meters tall, dressed up in his good suit and a tie: so much dignity, I remained enchanted as always. He started talking fast in Arabic, the girl next to him translated «we need more classes». There are over one thousand kids, divided into two shifts, the boys in the morning and the girls in the afternoon. The toilet facilities cannot be used: in case of need, the children have to run home.
I looked inside a classroom, a teacher was busy teaching, at least four boys were sitting at a two-seat desk, one on top of the other, scratching their heads… maybe lice. Their smiling faces, a space for hope. They were dirty, but smiling! The headmaster took us to visit his former school, a couple of hundreds of meters away. The blanket used by an ISIS militant was still there… I wonder what he looked like, if he was Arab or a foreigner… who knows?
Carmen Maddaloni, capo missione di COOPI in Iraq – Febbraio 2018